Have you ever said yes to something you were’t quite sure of, a little scared of and very unprepared for?

That’s exactly what I did last January when the company I work for announced a charity cycle in aid of Aware.

The cycle challenge:

Cycle 700km around Ireland in five days. From Dublin, to Kilkenny, Cork, Limerick, Galway and back to Dublin.

My challenge:
Cycle a bike, on the road! Train and get fit enough to cycle 700km in five days. Convince myself I can do it.

First I had to buy a bike. I did this through the bike to work scheme which also included most of the cycle gear I needed.

Once that was sorted I had to get on the bike, and on the road. This was the most difficult part.

I loved being on my bike as a kid but it had been years since I was on one and never on a road. I complain about cyclists everyday I drive though Dublin city and now I was going to be one of them? What was I thinking.

I still don’t know by the way.

For me, training started in on a cycle track in a park. Even for a first timer that got boring after 10 minutes going round and round but it did allow me to get used to the gears.

Next was a cold morning cycle somewhere in the Wicklow mountains and after that a few hours spent cycling the Phoenix park.

From then on I’ll be honest and say I lost what little mojo I had and completely slacked off for weeks. I was doing personal training at the time three days a week so I felt that training was building all the strength I needed in my legs. And it did. But building strength and getting road experience are two different things.

I was aware of this fact but my social life didn’t care and got in the way weekend after weekend. Its just not possible to go on a cycle when your hungover. And even when you feel fine, if the weather is awful, your going to say no then too.


I had an amazing week on my bike. The weather was fabulous all week, the hotels and food were great and everyone kept in good spirits right until the end.

I had two minor falls, the slow motion motion kind when you don’t clip out quick enough but all you can do is laugh and continue on. I also took a few extended breaks in the support van which did me the world of good and got me through to Friday! On average I did 100km a day which is far more than I ever expected to be able to do.

I’m not sure how many of you will enjoy reading about cycling so here’s a photo diary of my week.

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Showing off my very fashionable cycle outfit
Day one. Leaving Dublin
The whole gang leaving Dublin on day one.
 She Prevails Ireland cycle
Tullamore Dew lunch stop
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My roomies for the week.
She Prevails Cycle 12
Stretching and more stretching in the line to see our physiotherapist.
She Prevails Cycle 14
The result of two slow motion falls from when I didn’t clip out on time.
She Prevails Cycle 23
The yummy bike bars I snacked on from Roz Purcell’s cook book.
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My hair style of choice for when I cycle. There’s not much else that fits with a helmet.
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Blessington lakes
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Kilkenny Castle
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Tullamore Dew bar
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Father Teds house

She Prevails Cycle 18

She Prevails Ireland cycle.
Dublin homecoming